Friday, April 10, 2009

Bird Brains (me included)

Well I have been putting on quite a show for the folks on shore the last couple of weeks. I'm sure all they can see is me dancing around the island waving a broom in the air.

Normally this time of year we share the property with four mating pairs of Canada Geese. This year, sadly, we need to keep the yard up to snuff--as the property is for sale--so I need to convince my feathered friends that I am the dominant goose--and I'm claiming the whole island for myself. You do this by staying on ground higher than the goose in question and--lacking a long neck to bob up and down--waving a broom in the air . Then you stare and stare (they hate that) and they will start moving away.

The first three pairs got the message immediately--but the last pair--a fairly immature couple--couldn't take the hint. A big part of this problem has to do with territory--they simply have nowhere to go that isn't guarded zealously by older and stronger geese. One goose is a particular thorn in my side. He claims a huge territory in the channels off the west side of the island, and keeps driving the hapless pair back to me.

Geese, by the way, are some of the neatest creatures you could ever get to know. They have a wonderful social order, show incredible courage when protecting their young, and are really quite beautiful. Sadly, they have vastly over-populated the lake, and we all are a bit on the defensive when it comes to sharing property.

I have to say, I don't know how this story will end, they are starting to get to me. It is harder and harder to wave them off.

PS: Ten days later:

As you can see--I'm a soft touch after all. Can't resist rooting for the underdog--as these poor birds were run all over the lake by their dominant brethren. Sorry Max, if you read this, we're going to let these ones hatch. I owe my neighbors a drink, as I know the little ones will be a pain--hopefully just to me and my yard.

PPS Moving Day! The hatchlings are more green than brown, so momma has moved them into the green reeds on the south of the island. Perhaps I can get a picture later--they were too quick for me today.